Moo, Moo, Brown Cow! Have You Any Milk?


Moo, moo, brown cow! Have you any milk?
"Yes, sir, yes, sir," smooth as silk.
Does milk make me sleepy before I go to bed?
"Yes, sir, yes, sir," the brown cow said.

There's something about this well-known and well-loved nursery rhyme! Clever new verses not found in the original offer charming new critters and gently teach young readers a little something along the way. In ...

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Moo, moo, brown cow! Have you any milk?
"Yes, sir, yes, sir," smooth as silk.
Does milk make me sleepy before I go to bed?
"Yes, sir, yes, sir," the brown cow said.

There's something about this well-known and well-loved nursery rhyme! Clever new verses not found in the original offer charming new critters and gently teach young readers a little something along the way. In verses that mimic the original Baa Baa Black Sheep cadence, a plucky young boy asks each of the farm friends he encounters about the gifts they give us, all in preparation for a bedtime snack and a dream-filled sleep. And as the sun begins to set and the animals prepare to "dream the whole night through of flowers to sip, grass to chew," the little boy asks the animals one last question.

Whether read aloud or sung, this picture book can be a rollicking tale or a perfect lulling bedtime story.

Author Phillis Gershator and illustrator Giselle Potter weave together melodic rhyme and folksy illustrations to transport children to a place of discovery and cozy contentment in this delectable read-aloud.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a story that's part lullaby, part concept book, with its gentle emphasis on colors, animals, and their sounds, Gershator (Who's Awake in Springtime) riffs on "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to explore a farm boy's day. "Buzz, buzz, yellow bee!/ Have you any honey?/ ‘Yes, sir, yes, sir,/ sweet and sunny.' " Each quatrain introducing a new animal is followed by another that explains what the creature provides: "Does sun-sweet honey make a tasty spread?/ ‘Yes, sir, yes, sir,' the yellow bee said." Potter's (The Little Piano Girl) characteristically naïf illustrations play up the whimsy of the interactions; the bee, for instance, uses a honey dipper to provide the aforementioned "tasty spread," and the boy sits on a sweeping expanse of wool that the sheep knits while sitting in an armchair. The progression of events (yielding a blanket, pillow, and snack) naturally leads to bedtime, and a final scene, in which the animals appear as stuffed toys in the boy's bed (or, in the case of the bees, a mobile), leaves readers to ponder just how much of the day's adventures might have been imagined. Ages 2–5. (June)
Children's Literature - Suzanne Javid
Borrowing the first two lines from Baa Baa Black Sheep, the author takes a toddler classic and turns it into a delightful repetitive reading and exploring picture book. Placing gentle emphasis on numbers, colors, and animals allows children to explore both the lullaby and beginning concepts of animal homes and sounds. Part lullaby and part concept book, farm animals are asked by a little boy to share items they can provide for snack and bedtime. They provide a plentiful bounty, including wool for a blanket, down for a pillow and milk to drink. The story's rhyme and melodic rhythm makes it fun to either read or sing or both. To sing along with the traditional tune, adults can add additional sing-song animal sounds for the cow, sheep, goose, hen, and bee featured in the book. Text patterns can also be expanded with additional repetitive verses for the farm critters. With simple puppets, children may also enjoy performing the story as a play. Simple rhyming text with beautiful illustrations and colors. A wonderful, wonderful addition to a young reader's personal or school library. Author Gershator has a friendly and insightful website that's worth a Google look. Might this book be for you and your young reader? Yes sir, Yes sir, I think so! Hens and eggs; geese and down; bees and honey; sheep and wool. Yes sir, Yes sir, 40 pages full! Reviewer: Suzanne Javid
Kirkus Reviews

Through creative tweaking, a familiar nursery rhyme, "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep," returns as a cadenced lesson in farmyard enterprise as well as a comforting bedtime lullaby.

A farm boy asks, "Baa, baa, black sheep! Have you any wool?" The sheep predictably replies, "Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full." Will the wool make a blanket for his bed? "Yes sir, yes, sir," the black sheep assures him. The boy queries, "Honk, honk, gray goose! Have you any down?" and the goose responds, "Yes, sir, yes, sir, half a pound." Will the down make a pillow for his head? Of course. Progressing through the farmyard, the boy asks the red hen for eggs to make bread, the yellow bee for honey for a spread and the brown cow for milk to drink before bed. After eating bread with honey and drinking the milk, the boy falls asleep with the wool blanket and down pillow while his farmyard friends dream of more "flowers to sip" and "grass to chew." Primitive, folksy, multi-hued illustrations expand the pleasantly repetitive, rhyming text by showing the sheep knitting a blanket, the goose flapping feathers for a pillow, the red hen using eggs to make bread, the bee spreading honey on bread and the cow watching the boy drink her milk.

Farmyard industry becomes a bedtime soporific.(Picture book. 2-6)

Pamela Paul
…calming…beguiling…Giselle Potter's graceful paintings are done in her distinctive folk-art style, with greens and blues, adding to the effect, at once pensive and lulling.
—The New York Times
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A boy in overalls roams around a farm to chat with a cow, sheep, goose, hen, and bee. Upon request, he receives milk, wool, down, eggs, and honey. After a bedtime glass of milk, the curly-haired child cuddles with toys (that match his animal pals) and they gaze at a hive mobile above his bed. Gershator uses rhyme and the melodic rhythm of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" in her dialogue, making the tale fit for either singing or speaking. Potter uses soft colors for day and rich cobalt and chocolate for night in her folksy paintings. She features only essential background details, complementing the text for this soothing book.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375867446
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 486,266
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

PHILLIS GERSHATOR has written numerous books for children. One of Phillis's most recent books, Listen, Listen! was called a "jewel of a book" by Booklist. Some of her other popular titles include The Iroko-Man: A Yoruba Folktale; Rata-pata-scatafata: A Caribbean Story; Zoo Day Ole; A Counting Book; and When It Starts to Snow. Phillis currently lives in with her husband in the Virgin Islands.

GISELLE POTTER's folksy and distinctive illustrations have graced many children's books, among them, The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter; Wynken, Blynken, and Nod by Eugene Field; and Sugar Would Not Eat It by Emily Jenkins. Giselle lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and two daughters.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012


    Incredible paintings. They are very detailed and have bright colors

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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